- James Walker, ESPN Staff Writer
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With the NFL lockout possibly reaching its conclusion, it's time to look ahead to what should be a very wild period in free agency.
Part of it will consists of rookie free agents who went undrafted this past April. Every year, several college players who were overlooked surprise and contribute during their rookie seasons.
Here are five rookie free agents to keep an eye on:
Noel Devine, RB, West Virginia
Skinny: Devine is a small (5 foot 8, 180 pounds), shifty back with good acceleration. He displays good vision and runs through a surprising amount of tackles for a player his size. Devine is scary in the open field and may be able to help a team on third down.
Jeron Johnson, S, Boise State
Skinny: A hard-hitting safety with a lot of college experience, Johnson was projected to go in the fifth or sixth round but was overlooked. He is a solid tackler who has a chance to earn a backup job and help right away on special teams.
Possible AFC North fit: Cincinnati Bengals
Dane Sanzenbacher, WR, Ohio State
Skinny: Size and speed are question marks, but Sanzenbacher displays good hands and is reliable. He is more quick than fast and he has the ability to separate with good routes. Sanzenbacher is a natural leader and was a captain at Ohio State.
Possible AFC North fit: Browns
Mark Herzlich, LB, Boston College
Skinny: High-character player who survived cancer and long odds to earn a shot at the NFL. Herzlich has a good motor, size and toughness to play the linebacker position and was once a sure prospect before major health issues hindered his chances.
Possible AFC North fits: Steelers, Browns, Baltimore Ravens
Jeremy Ross, WR/KR, Cal
Skinny: Ross played receiver, running back and returned kicks at Cal. He needs to find a natural position in the NFL, but has good speed (4.4 to 4.5) and his return ability gives Ross a chance to make a team.
Possible AFC North fit: Ravens
With the NFL lockout possibly reaching its conclusion, it's time to look ahead to what should be a very wild period in free agency.Part of it will consists of rookie free agents who went undrafted this past April.